What is site speed?
As the name sound page load time is the amount of time it takes your website to load on their device whether that is their computer or their mobile phone.
Why does it matter?
While there isn’t a direct correlation between page load speed and rankings Google has mentioned a few times that below 3 seconds is a good guideline to be aiming for. While it doesn’t necessarily affect rankings it is likely to increase your bounce rate and conversion rate if you have a slow page load time. A few examples of this are:
“47% of customers expect a page load speed time of less than 2 seconds”
“A 1 second increase in page load speed would $1.6 billion per year due to page abandonment” Amazon
“A reduction from 4 second load speed to 1 second increased conversion rates by 2% for every 1 second” Walmart
So if your page is loading slow you are leaving money on the table, especially on ecommerce sites.
How can I measure it?
Here are a few websites where you can measure your page load speed:
What should I be aiming for?
The lower the better realistically. I would hazard to guess that this is especially true if a lot of your traffic is from mobile, even though I have no data to back this up. And with mobile traffic surpassing computer traffic for the first time I imagine this will get more and more important.
How can I improve page load time?
Honestly this is again something that I outsource, as I would rather pay someone who can do it quicker and more efficiently while I spend my time doing what I am good at. Here is a great set of blog posts (there’s about 30 different posts) on the basics through to more advance techniques.
But here are some basic ways to decrease your page load time to start off with if you don’t want to outsource to someone else:
- Using a single purpose / custom theme as often multi-purpose themes have a lot of bloated code
- Removing code that isn’t used
- Improve your hosting
- Use a content delivery network
- Compressing all your .js and .css into one file
- .JPEG and .png shrink your images
- Remove pointless plugins
Now we are going to look at additional SEO trust signals which google use to help decide if your website is a real, authoritative site.
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